Summer is in full swing, and I bet you’re ready to take some time off to go on some family adventures. Summertime is one of my favorite times of year to take photos because of experiencing those adventures and all the many photo ops I know I’ll have. I’ve been asked many times for pointers on taking those iconic summer vacation photos, so I thought I’d write a post about it. Here are my tips on five easy ways to photograph your kids this summer. Practice these and you can immediately improve your photo skills but also learn when to take the photo and when to set your camera down and enjoy the vacation with your family.
1. Patience. Wait for those perfect candid moments that represent summer to you. I take my camera with me everywhere in the summer, but that doesn’t mean I am shooting all the time. If I see a moment developing I’ll have my camera on me and wait. In this first photo below we had been out on the boat all day long. I certainly took some photos, but during our 40-minute boat ride home, as the light was turning golden and Ida our dog joined in the fun, I knew this was the perfect photo to capture summarizing our day out.
This is an example of another little moment I wanted to capture. One of our summer traditions is buying cherries and eating them down on the dock, and having a cherry pit spitting contest. The fact that they were doing it off the boat all huddled together screamed nostalgic summertime to me.
2. Photograph the quiet moments. For us, summer isn’t just about crazy fun and playing. It’s also a time we can get off a rigid schedule and have some downtime. We can stay up late and sleep in, and even stay in bed all day and read. So I love to capture the quiet moments, too. It rounds out your summertime story and makes the fun, crazy ones more impactful, too.
3. Change your angle. This one can quickly turn a good photo into a fantastic photo! Changing your perspective adds interest and can change the mood of a photograph. Stand up and shoot down, lay down and shoot at a low angle (2nd photo), and try being low and shooting up (3rd image). Isaac looks completely different when I shoot at that angle vs. straight on. Try it and you’ll be surprised by the results!
4. Get in on the action! Summer is about a lot of outdoor activities. When you’re on vacation, there is a flurry of activities going on every single day. Now’s the time to take photos of what you’re kids are loving to do, whether it’s diving, being pulled behind a boat, water-skiing, swimming, biking, or anything else. With the action, you know you’ll find great photo ops and fantastic facial expressions!
5. Take a few photos of your kids in the evening. Sure the bright, punchy, colorful photographs scream summer, but sunset photos to me are the representation of relaxing after a long fun-filled day, content and ready to quiet down and get ready for the next.
So get your camera, even if the one that’s most with you is your smartphone, get it out and ready and experiment with these five tricks!
Thank you for the tips! Love love love all the pic. You are amazing!
Thanks so much, Sarah!!
Thanks for the wonderful tips! What lens(es) do you prefer in situations like these, when you’re on the go?
Thanks so much, Meredith, and great question! I bring three lenses. I love a wide-angle lens for scenic shots, like the 24mm or 35mm lenses. I always bring a nifty fifty because it’s so great for portraits and it’s pretty versatile, and I love a telephoto for those times the kids are far away from me and I want to zoom in. The high-dive photo (side view) and the tubing photo behind the boat were both taken with the telephoto.